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  2010's Late News



Riot prison suicide bid lag is saved
By Lucy Thornton 6/11/2010
Prison officers rescued an inmate who was trying to kill himself as rioters torched his cell on a third night of unrest at a jail.

The armed mob turned on the prisoner last night because he refused to join them on the rampage.

Glynn Travis, of the Prison Officers Association, said: "They had set fire to his cell door trying to burn him out.

"Rather than burn to death, he tried to hang himself. Staff fought massive fires to rescue him. They were brave."

The riot at Doncaster's Moorland young offender institution, in which one officer has suffered a broken jaw, also spread to the site's adult prison.

Moorland was described as "shabby" when last inspected in 2008 and the union blames funding cuts for the rioting.

One injured inmate is fighting for his life and 250 others have been moved.


Third night of rioting at prison complex near Doncaster BBC NEWS
5 November 2010 Last updated at 01:06
An investigation will begin into violence at a prison complex in South Yorkshire.

A third night of rioting has occurred after disturbances broke out at Moorlands Young Offenders' Institution- a facility on the same site.

The Prison Service says more than 50 inmates refused to return to their cells during the evening. They surrendered after officers in riot gear were called in.

More than 80 inmates have been moved to other prisons because of damage caused during the disturbances.


3 November 2010 BBC NEWS
Staff attacked as young offenders run riot
The overnight incidents at the two institutions are not believed to be linked Several prison officers have been attacked during disturbances at two young offenders' institutions.

A woman prison officer suffered a fractured jaw in an attack at Moorland Young Offenders' Institution in Hatfield Woodhouse, near Doncaster.

There have also been disturbances at Warren Hill in Woodbridge, Suffolk, and all 138 inmates may have to be moved because a set of keys has been stolen.

The overnight incidents are not believed to be linked.

The Ministry Of Justice said a fight broke out at Moorland at 1900 GMT on Tuesday and 42 inmates refused to return to their cells.

An MOJ spokesman said: "Prison Service Tornado teams entered the prison at 1am.

"The prisoners offered no resistance. Several staff were slightly injured in incidents earlier that day and one prisoner suffered minor injuries during the incident."

He said 60 youths at Warren Hill refused to return to their cells on Tuesday night in a "totally separate incident".

After a stand-off Tornado teams were sent in at 0540 GMT and regained control, again with no resistance being offered.

The wing at Warren Hill is understood to have suffered extensive damage.

BBC home affairs correspondent Danny Shaw said it is thought prisoners got hold of a set of keys during the disturbances at Warren Hill.

As a result all the locks may have to be changed.

The acting National Chairman of the Prison Officers Association (POA), Tom Robson, said: "The street corner gangs re-associate inside our prisons.

"They continue in the only way they know which is in a violent and anti-social manner that our members confront and manage on a daily basis.

"Prison officers deserve the gratitude of the general public for the service they provide," he added.

The POA said the riot at Warren Hall was sparked when officers prevented some inmates from having unfettered access to the telephones and gyms because of bullying of other inmates.

The POA said: "They reacted with venom, causing significant damage to the prison and two prisoners being hospitalised with a number of staff injured whilst trying to deal


Ken Clarke to close six jails as he insists inmate numbers will fall
Plan to cut jail population reverses Labour forecasts, but union calls for smaller institutions and review
Amy Fallon The Guardian, Saturday 6 November 2010
select for full story Around 5,000 prison cells will be lost and 10,000 jobs across the Prison Service will be axed under a government plan to shut six jails in England and Wales.

The Ministry of Justice is reportedly preparing a list for establishments for closure as part of an overhaul of sentencing policy designed to reduce the number of offenders behind bars.

A consultation green paper outlining the reduction, a reversal of the Labour government's plan to increase prison accommodation from the current 88,000 places to 96,000, is due to be published next month.

The proposal comes after George Osborne's demand for a 23% cut in the ministry's budget by 2014/15 in the spending review. Justice secretary Ken Clarke (right) hopes he can reduce the prison population by 3,000 by 2014, rather than the previous government's forecast that an extra 8,000 places would be needed. He reportedly intends to achieve this by reforming sentencing, transferring mentally ill offenders to NHS units, and repatriating more foreign national offenders.

Jails that may be vulnerable to closure include Shepton Mallet in Somerset, Shrewsbury, North Sea Camp in Lincolnshire and Dartmoor in Devon; larger inner-city prisons such as Wandsworth and Pentonville in London are thought to be still viewed as important.

Colin Moses, chairman of the Prison Officers' Association, called for a policy of smaller jails instead of closures.

"We do not believe at this time that there should be any prison closures until we have had a root and branch review of the prison estate," he said. "We believe smaller prisons deliver the things Ken Clarke is talking about, such as good offender behaviour programmes."

There are doubts over whether there are sufficient NHS facilities available to take offenders, and whether large numbers of foreign national prisoners can be returned; last year only 41 of almost 8,000 convicted were returned.


select for thread Steve Gillan, the new general secretary of the POA talks to Adrian Roberts of the Morning Star Monday 09 August 2010

In only his first few days in the job Justice Secretary Ken Clarke said he intended to cut the number of people being sent to jail. Using the language of the left, Clarke made all the correct noises, saying that prison "does not always work," is often a waste of money and that many inmates guilty of petty crimes should not be there.

But Gillan points out that this is just a smokescreen and the real reason behind Clarke's stance is more about cuts and privatisation than prisoner welfare.


13 August 2010 By Andrew Whitaker Political Correspondent
PROPOSALS to open tattoo parlours in Scottish prisons were yesterday criticised as "obscene" and a waste of taxpayers' money.

The row erupted after a report for the Scottish Prison Service suggested ministers should consider introducing professional tattooing equipment into the country's jails.

Infections such as hepatitis C, partly caused by inmates using makeshift tattoo equipment like pens, toothbrush handles and lighters, were highlighted as a health risk to inmates.

The report recommended a pilot scheme which would see a tattoo studio established in a long-stay prison.

But the Scottish Prison Officers Association warned this move would be the thin end of the wedge.

A spokesman for the POA said: "It raises the issue of where do we stop if we do something like this.

"We've never been approached about this, but it wouldn't be appropriate.

"If we have these tattoo kits in, do we then bring in hairdressers from outside?

"Hairdressing is currently done within prisons through vocational training.

"Our members wouldn't be happy to work with individuals going for tattoos in this way.

"It would be an added burden, as prison officers already have enough work to do."

The report's author Dona Milne, who was seconded to the Scottish Government at the time, suggested prison bosses should increase inmate education about tattooing and make clean materials available.

Figures from 2008 showed that 54 per cent of Scotland's 8,000 prisoners said they had a tattoo, including 18 per cent who claimed to have had theirs done while in jail.

North-east Conservative MSP Alex Johnstone said that encouraging prisoners to get tattoos could harm any chance of rehabilitation.

He said: "Prison is about losing liberty and having tattoo parlours would be a liberty too far.

"There's also an issue about taxpayers' money going on something like this.

"Prison is about rehabilitation, but offering the opportunity to people to come out covered in tattoos is not going to be good for their employment prospects.

"Tattooing is something that should be discouraged in prison, not facilitated."

Labour justice spokesman Richard Baker called on the Scottish


Prison officer Matthew Waldron leaves Manchester Magistrates Court after pleading guilty to assaulting a prisoner at Manchester Strangeways Prison select for full story
A prison officer has been jailed for eight months after attacking an inmate in his cell.
13 August 2010
Matthew Waldron, 31, punched Thomas Smith, 57, six times in the face and body in a moment of 'red mist'. Smith, who had pre-existing weakness to one arm and limited movement, suffered bruising to his eye and face.

The attack at the segregation unit at Strangeways Prison was captured on CCTV.

Waldron, a prison officer for 10 years with an unblemished record, will now be sacked.

Manchester Crown Court was told Waldron and a second officer, Stefan Wickham, entered Smith's cell to confiscate a radio cable which they believed he might use to harm himself or others.

Fifteen minutes later Smith urinated in the cell and mouthed an obscenity at the CCTV camera which was on 24 hours a day as there were concerns he might harm himself.

It was also seen that he still had part of the cable. The two officers went back to the cell and Waldron walked directly towards Smith while Wickham stood at the door.

Smith moved to the back of the cell and put his arm over his face.

Prosecuting, Andrew McIntosh, said Smith swore at Waldron and spat in his face.

“The red mist descended and he assaulted him. He was disgusted with himself and went straight home.”

The incident came to light three days later when the governor for the segregation unit asked Smith how he had got his injuries. He had initially told a nurse he had fallen in his cell.

John Banasko, defending, said Smith, a serial offender, had continually embarked on a dirty protest in his cell and on another occasion had set fire to his cell.


DUBLIN: New governor for women's jail faces crowded cell crisis

By Charlie Mallon

Friday August 06 2010

A NEW governor has been appointed to the Dochas women's prison -- succeeding Kathleen McMahon, who resigned claiming it was impossible to carry out her functions in the overcrowded jail.

Mary O'Connor, who was chief prison officer, is taking over the post after a steady climb through the ranks in recent years.

She featured recently in a high-profile court case where she was a key witness involving 'Black Widow' Catherine Nevin over the alleged possession of a phone in the prison.

Ms O'Connor inherits a now overcrowded drug-riddled institution equipped with controversial bunk beds to accommodate the increasing numbers.

The 2009 report of the prison's independent Visiting Committee called for "urgent action" on the overcrowding issue.

A prison built for 85 has recently been holding up to 130 women in half a dozen shared houses rather than cells.

Consultation

The Herald first revealed the installation of bunk beds in the prison, and the fact that Governor McMahon was unhappy with the lack of consultation with Prison Service chiefs on this and other issues.

Inmates range from the high-profile lifers to the regulars, shoplifters and drug addicts.

In the Nevin court case, prison officer Jean O'Reilly described how she entered a room shared by the killer with drugs courier Nokukhanya Cele, and found a mobile phone under Nevin's blanket.

Judge Aeneas McCarthy said that there was no evidence of telephone numbers being found which linked Nevin to the phone and the case was dismissed.

The prison accommodates many killers including a mother and daughter Jacqui and Kelly Noble.

Daughter Kelly received a 10-year jail sentence in March 2007 for the manslaughter of Emma McLoughlin (19), who was stabbed to death outside a shop in Laytown in 2006.


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  2010's Late News